RIPON - With the outright championship of the Southern League already in hand, Ripon Christian had one more thing to cross off its list.
Ann McFerran was intentionally kept out of the loop.
The Sonora Wildcats brought their undefeated Valley Oak League record into the Dalben Center and got pushed to the brink in Game 1, but a short-staffed East Union club would come no closer to an upset, falling 3-0 Thursday in front of the home fan
LATHROP - No playoff berth, no problem.
It did not take long for the Ripon Christian volleyball program to make its mark in its new Southern League home, winning the championship outright with a 3-0 sweep of Gustine Thursday for its first title in over a decade.
Ripon High knew that to find a seat in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs it would need a glorious finish to the Trans Valley League season.
A one-goal loss Monday eliminated the Manteca Buffaloes from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoff picture, but that did not stop the Buffaloes from crashing East Union High's Valley Oak League championship hopes, stopping the Lancers 5-3 to close out the 2010 regular season.
Jose Montes was spared the Gatorade bath on a cold Thursday afternoon.
When the third and final Valley Oak League cross-country race was complete, the Sierra Timberwolves were able to land three of four VOL Championships, winning both girls titles and the sophomore boys crown Wednesday in Angels Camp.
Just about everything that could go right did for the Weston Ranch tennis team this year, putting together the school's first-ever Valley Oak League girls tennis championship and Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoff berth.
WESTON RANCH - Weston Ranch countered Sierra High's big comeback with one of its own.
Ripon Christian could have took advantage of a lackluster start by the Delhi Hawks, but that was not the case as the Knights drop another Southern League match Tuesday 6-3 in Ripon.
The East Union Lancers got their second crack at the Oakdale Mustangs, but the results didn't improve much as the Lancers dropped their Valley Oak League match with Oakdale 3-0 Tuesday in Oakdale.
The enormity of Monday's Valley Oak League all-important showdown with visiting Oakdale didn't do the trick.
It was only appropriate that Sierra High's Alysia Atkins closed off the Manteca Buffaloes' hopes to win an emphatic smash, sending the Timberwolves off with a 3-0 win over Manteca Thursday in Valley Oak League play.
RIPON - Kristen Maestretti was rewarded for her effort.
For the better part of three quarters, the Turlock crowd did their best to unlock the mystery of Anand Hundal, Manteca's 6-foot-8 junior center.
East Union expected Bear Creek to come out winging its best punches and got exactly that in a nonleague contest at Dalben Center on Tuesday.
There were moments when East Union coach Jim Agostini had to remind himself that little, if anything, was on the line during Tuesday's reunion with Sonora at Bud Castle Gym.
Rubel Dehal and Elizabeth Tolbert had clean looks at the basket in attempts to force an overtime period, but both of their shots rimmed out in Manteca's 43-40 loss to visiting Laguna Creek on Monday.
LATHROP - Lathrop managed only five first-period points Monday and never recovered in a 72-46 loss to visiting Beyer-Modesto in non-league boys basketball action.
Tournament host Ripon made a run in the third quarter and would not close the gap in losing to Cosumnes Oaks 58-42 in the championship game of the girls Ripon Winter Classic on Saturday.
Ripon finished tied for sixth place with Buhach Colony on Saturday in the 22-team field of the Morning Star Invitational at Los Banos High School.
After two big swings in the second half Saturday tournament host Ripon managed a layup with a minute left and held on over Bret Harte 63-62 for the championship of the boys Ripon winter Classic.
Weston Ranch is heading to the championship game in one of the Central Section's most prestigious tournaments.
Cody Norman is back with his alma mater, coaching the Laguna Creek girls basketball team in Elk Grove.
Livingston buried three 3-pointers to lead 9-0 at the start of its nonleague game at Manteca High's Winter Gymnasium Friday night.
RIPON - Ripon Christian may no longer be in the Southern League for basketball, but its growing rivalry with Mariposa lives on.
TRACY - Ryan Tarr had seen enough.
TRACY - With four reserves checking in at the scorer's table, Lathrop coach Nathan McGrath left them with one simple message: